Home News Iran overturns dissident rapper’s death sentence, his lawyer says

Iran overturns dissident rapper’s death sentence, his lawyer says


Iran’s Supreme Court has overturned a death sentence for a dissident rapper who has supported protests across the country, according to his lawyer, reversing an April ruling that drew widespread criticism and outrage from human rights groups and others.

Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s lawyer Amir Raesian In a post on X By overturning the original verdict, the court “avoided an irreparable judicial error,” he said, adding that the court had found Mr. Salehi’s previous sentence of six years and three months in prison too severe and sent the case back to a lower court for review.

Salehi, 33, was one of the most prominent speakers during Iran’s nationwide protests against clerical rulers two years ago. 22-year-old Mahsa Amini dies in police custodyIran’s morality police said Ms Amini was arrested after she violated Iran’s rules on headscarves.

Mr. Salehi was arrested in October 2022 for releasing music critical of the government and encouraging his followers to take part in demonstrations sparked by the death of the president. Ms. Amini.

Next month, Iranian authorities Accuse him and “Spreading corruption on the earth,” In July 2023, the court sentenced Mr. Salehi More than six years After a closed-door trial, he was jailed. He was also banned from making music or singing for two years. According to the State Council document.

Iran’s Supreme Court challenged the ruling and Salehi was released in November 2023, but less than two weeks later he was arrested again and charged with “anti-state propaganda.” According to UN expertsHuman rights groups have also alleged that Mr. Salehi was tortured in prison.

After Mr. Salehi was sentenced to death in April, writers, singers and other artists signed an open letter published in Index on Censorship, a free speech advocacy group, called for his release.

“We stand in solidarity with Tumaji Salehi. We call for the immediate and unconditional revocation of his death sentence and his immediate release and the dropping of all other charges,” the letter read.

The Center for Human Rights in Iran, an independent advocacy group based in New York, called the death sentence “a new low in Iran’s crackdown on dissent.”

Iran has a responsibility 74% of recorded executions Human rights group Amnesty International said the death penalty in Iran is common around the world and called in June for the annulment of Salehi’s sentence. “The Iranian government has long used the death penalty to intimidate the Iranian population and tighten its grip on power.” It writes then.

Austrian lawmaker Helmut Brandstätter, who supports Salehi, called for the rapper’s release on Sunday following reports that the death sentence had been overturned.

“For years I have watched his fate with horror. He was imprisoned and tortured simply because he spoke out in solidarity with the women of Iran,” Mr. Brandstadt said. Expressed on social mediaHe added: “He must be released.”

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